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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
Blogathon/Camera help? 
19th-Jul-2009 09:08 am
Okay, I'm trying to photograph jewelry for the Blogathon auctons, and I can't get a non-blurry shot. ARGH. I'm using a Canon PhotoShot A630. Any advice?

And this is also to say: people donating items to Blogathon actions, I must have pictures and/or descriptions today.

If you're knitting something custom, send me the link to the pattern. If your item is in-process, send in-process photos.

But I've got to have a description to post. I can't just say "bracelet by X." No one will bid without some idea of what that bracelet looks like.

And please be as detailed as reasonably possible, especially with items that may contain allergens.

Thank you!
19th-Jul-2009 01:22 pm (UTC)
re: photos
Get some more light. It's blurry because the shutter has to stay open for so long.
19th-Jul-2009 01:33 pm (UTC)
Jewelry doesn't move, so all you have to do is be able to hold the camera still long enough. Set the exposure time to 1/30 of a second (or quicker, if it still comes out blurry), and then let the camera set the amount of light to match. It may decide to use flash, in which case you can end up with shadows; if the shadows are unattractive, get some other lights to fill them in.

Good luck!
19th-Jul-2009 01:40 pm (UTC)
Is it maybe a matter of you holding the camera close enough that you need to use a "macro" feature?
19th-Jul-2009 02:07 pm (UTC)
Use the Macro feature. Its designed for taking images of smaller objects while getting the details of it

if you don't know, the macro feature is represented by a little flower.
19th-Jul-2009 02:28 pm (UTC)
Part of what I do for a living is take close-up pics for our store website. I'm not familiar with your camera, but here are some basic tips:

Use the "macro" feature (little flower symbol), definitely. This enables the camera to focus on subjects at a close range.

Get as much light on/around the piece you're photographing as possible. (but not too close)

Steady the camera on a tripod (or something that will hold it still while the shutter is open).

Try the pic with and without flash (assuming your camera allows you to turn off the flash). Even if you think it will turn out too dark without flash, try it. The flash may produce stark shadows and too much glare if the piece is very shiney.

Try using a piece of plain white paper for a background. It'll give a nice clean background that won't distract from the jewelry.
19th-Jul-2009 08:11 pm (UTC)
and you get the macro mode on the 630 by hitting the bottom of the control circle on the back. I'm not sure it will work in "AUTO" mode, you might have to set the top dial to "P". But yeah, lots of light is good.
19th-Jul-2009 02:24 pm (UTC)
Macro setting, TONS of light. Take 'em outside if you can.

(You can gank the photo from my website for the Valentines piece.)
19th-Jul-2009 03:01 pm (UTC)
19th-Jul-2009 03:04 pm (UTC)
If your camera has a tripod mount, you are welcome to borrow my tripod.
19th-Jul-2009 07:50 pm (UTC)
Hi 'Song!

I will be making a bracelet in byzantine weave in shiny silver aluminum, made from tiny little 1/8th inch rings. I will send you a photo as soon as I have enough done to photograph (later tonight if that's okay)
19th-Jul-2009 07:52 pm (UTC)
Excellent. Thanks!
20th-Jul-2009 02:37 am (UTC)
Jewelry photography is very tricky. Wishing you the best!
21st-Jul-2009 12:02 am (UTC)
I realize that you've already got the auction up, so this is just for next time. In addition to the suggestions above about light, tripod and macro, I'd the following:
If the lighting can't be changed, and you are using a tripod or other independently stable mount, you can avoid the camera shake from pushing the shutter release by using the shutter timer feature.
21st-Jul-2009 12:20 am (UTC)
What everyone else has said about shutter speed (not enough light) and possibly macro mode (getting the camera to focus closer, though I'd tend to think it wouldn't let you take the picture at all if it couldn't focus)

Also! If you have a window that gets either early morning or just-before-sunset light that would solve the not-enough-light problem and it's very pretty light to boot!

Alternatively I would be happy to help out myself (I'm in Somerville). Send me e-mail at my LJ address if you're interested.
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